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Mix It Up! 4 Ways to Grow Your Business During a Government Shutdown

A Government Shutdown Doesn’t Have to Shut Your Business Down: 4 Ways to Keep Building Your Business During a Government Shutdown

Countless businesses, contractors and subcontractors responsible to fulfill contracts for the federal government may be affected if – as is anticipated – the government shuts down on September 30, 2013.  If you find yourself with unexpected downtime as a result, here are four ways you can get leads and grow your business in the meantime.

growing a business affected by the government shutdown

Source: Washington Post

With a government shutdown looming on October 1, 2013, many small business owners, contractors and subcontractors face the prospect of lost – or at least delayed – federal contract work for as long as the shutdown lasts.

If the government shuts down, who will be affected? 

Not all federal workers and projects are affected by a government shutdown.  The laws governing a temporary government shutdown separate federal workers (and projects) into two camps:  essential and non-essential, also sometimes referred to as excepted and non-excepted.  Essential workers and work continues during a government shutdown.

If your organization will be affected by the government shutdown, you may find yourself scrambling to make up lost income in the meantime. 

Here are four things you can do to build your business and replace lost income during a government shutdown:

1. Change your customer mix.

While it may seem like an obvious answer, it’s easy to get into a rut of dependence on one or two large contracts (whether private or public), only to suffer a serious revenue shortage if that client leaves or shuts down their operations on a temporary or permanent basis.  Enlarge your customer base with a larger mix of small, medium and large accounts to distribute risk.

2.  Change your product mix. 

If you serve mainly government contracts because of the type of product or service your organization provides, consider expanding your menu of products or services so that it is broad enough to allow your business to attract a mix of private and public entities.

3.  Change your marketing mix. 

If your organization’s revenues have come as a result of government contracts, now might be a good time to change your marketing mix so that you can attract more non-government projects and clients.  You can quickly improve your ability to attract new clients by:

  • Updating on-page content and meta tags on your website so that it is optimized for search
  • Add new content, landing pages, articles and contact-building forms to your website
  • Spend strategically on SEM (search engine marketing) pay per click advertising and referral marketing (such as Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, retargeting campaigns, etc.)
  • Start or revitalize your email marketing efforts
  • Launch or expand social media marketing efforts

4.  Change your employee mix.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, adding new employees to your business that have entrepreneurial mind and skill sets or who specialize in content marketing, development and lead-generation can help you change your business model to become less reliant on government contracts, help you expand your customer base and realign your marketing mix to help you attract new customers.

DB Squared’s business financing tools are perfectly designed to help an organization maintain cash flow during a temporary downturn or slow cycle, including the temporary revenue shortage that many businesses, contractors and subcontractors may experience during a government shutdown.

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About Elizabeth Kraus

Elizabeth Kraus: Marketing Manager, DB Squared Inc. Business Finance and the Author of 365 Days of Marketing and the 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar: 12 Ways to Cheat at Marketing; plus The Art of Attraction: The 2013 Salon and Spa Marketing Calendar, Word of Mouth: The 2013 Marketing Calendar for Dental Practices and Marketing Bites: The 2013 Marketing Calendar for Restaurants and Bars - Available on

One comment on “Mix It Up! 4 Ways to Grow Your Business During a Government Shutdown

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